Friday, June 24, 2005

British government confused

While British Foreign secretary Jack Straw (joined by Condi) is castigating African leaders for allowing the Zimbabwean crisis to rage on, the UK home department is conning Zimbabwean refugees into turning themselves in for deportation.

Said Straw yesterday,
"Speaking on behalf of the United Kingdom government, we believe that there was a really high responsibility now placed on African leaders not to continue to turn a blind eye to what is going on in Zimbabwe," said Mr. Straw. "If the reports are simply half true, and we believe it will be much more than half true, this is a situation of serious international concern and no government which subscribes to human rights and democracy should allow this kind of thing effectively to go on under their noses."
But NewZimbabwe has this report,

"IMMIGRATION officials are trapping Zimbabwean couples and forcibly deporting them when they turn up for their wedding ceremonies.

As Jack Straw told his G8 counterparts at a meeting in London yesterday that the latest wave of terror by Robert Mugabe against his own people was a “serious international concern”, the Home Office insisted that it was safe to send its detainees back to Zimbabwe.

A number of couples who were told that they had to retake their vows in a British register office to prove that they were married have been arrested with their guests and sent back to Harare within hours"

Now Zimbabwean inmates in holding centers across Britain are on a hunger strike,
"LONDON: Hundreds of Zimbabwean asylum-seekers held in British detention centres have begun a hunger strike over a decision to speed up their removal and send them back to face torture from Robert Mugabe's regime.

Scores of Zimbabwean refugees have been removed forceably from Britain in the past month at a time when the UN has ordered an investigation into Mr Mugabe's latest terror operation, which has made up to a million people homeless.

Human rights groups and MPs have demanded the Home Office stop the deportations. They are urging Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss the plight of the refugees at next month's G8 summit at Gleneagles.

This hunger protest was started after Crespen Kulingi, a prominent opposition leader, was told he was to be removed on Saturday. Mr Kulingi, 32, who is a close aide of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is in a wheelchair after suffering crippling injuries in detention in Zimbabwe.

Detainees in several detention centres are understood to have joined the protest. Mr Kulingi said: "I am truly frightened I will be killed if I am sent back to Zimbabwe. I don't understand why Mr Blair and his ministers condemn Mugabe as a cruel dictator to his people and yet Britain sends us back to face his wrath."
The British can't it right on Zimbabwe.

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